Colin's Story - Why We Started Live Happii Retreats

Colin's Story - Why We Started Live Happii Retreats

In some ways I feel like my whole life has been preparing me for Live Happii Retreats. I grew up in a very small town in southwest Michigan, the sort of town no one ever leaves. We jokingly called the local community college “13th grade” because almost everyone in town ended up studying there for a year before dropping out and getting a low-skilled job. There were only 120 people in my high school graduating class, and everyone knew everything about each other. It’s very hard to grow and evolve when your world is so small, when everyone has their preconceived notions of who you are and what your potential is.

 

When I was about thirteen years old, my older sister packed her bags and moved to California. She was the first person I knew intimately who left that small town, and her leaving planted the seed in my mind that I could leave too. Then for my sixteenth birthday my mom took me to California to visit my sister, and while we were there we took a tour of the Olympic Training Center, where some of the best athletes in the United States live and train. I decided on that trip that I would work there one day.

 

That first trip to California gave me a vision for my life that exceeded the boundaries of my small town upbringing. The warm weather, ocean breeze, and palm trees became a vivid part of my reality. Experiencing it all up close, I could actually begin to see and feel myself living there. It gave me a dream and motivation that would sustain me through the cold, dreary Michigan winters as I worked towards a better future for myself.

 

Flash forward seven years.

 

A few months after I turned 23, I accepted a job working at that same Olympic Training Center I visited as a young teen. The life I envisioned for myself actually became a reality! I became the main medical provider for USA Track and Field; at the time I was the only certified athletic trainer in the country employed by USATF. My main job was to travel around the world helping Olympic track and field athletes prevent and recover from injuries and perform at their very best. I began a deep study of movement, pain, injuries, mental performance, and what it takes to perform at the highest levels. Surrounded

 

And, I traveled... to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Olympics, to London for the 2017 World Championships, to Doha, Qatar for the 2019 World Championships, and to another 27 countries and 40 states over the course of my four years working there.

 

I still remember how giddy I was in the summer of 2016, flying to London for my first international trip. I distinctly remember being on the plane, writing in my journal about how far I’d come, how I’d made it out of that small town and was actually getting to see and experience more of life.

 

Those four years of travel completely reshaped me as a person. Moving to Athens, Greece last year furthered this evolution. I’ve tasted new foods, experienced new ways of living, overcome major challenges, and I’ve discovered who I am beyond the boundaries of where I come from.

 

Experiencing more of the world (and by extension, more of myself) has also given me a much deeper appreciation for where I come from. I can see so many of the good things about my hometown that were lost in the midst of some major trauma I experienced towards the end of my teenage years.

 

And most importantly, I’ve connected with people who are so drastically different from me in so many ways. Meeting people who approach life differently expanded my mind and allowed me to see how so many of my habits, thought patterns, likes, dislikes, dreams, and goals weren’t really mine. My impression of life, of myself, of what’s possible was shaped by the environment I grew up in and the people I was around.

 

Through it all I’ve gotten to see and experience how similar we all truly are. Beneath all our superficial differences, we all just want to discover our purpose, fulfill our goals, make the best life for ourselves that we can, laugh, love and be loved.

 

I know how impactful travel has been in helping me see and build a better life for myself. I’ve also spent the past 15 years helping people get out of pain, build a deeper connection to their body, and become the best version of themselves. All of this is what I hope to pass on to others through Live Happii Retreats.

 

 

 

 

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